J4 XV v DLSP Metro Division 8

J4 XV (48) v DLSP (5)
Metro League Division 8
Kirwan Park, Friday 23rd February


Friday night lights this week brought our J4 squad to the home of DLSP. Their first pitch was occupied with an under 20 game meaning we made the move to their back pitch down the hill which probably worked out better for our squad as the ground didn’t appear as heavy without as much grass and was possibly better for what this J4 squad are good at, fast running rugby out the backline. With the last competitive league game conceded by Landsdowne that effectively ended any shot they had at a league playoff but DLSP were still very much in the running and had to get a win here and hope other results went their way. Our J4 squad knew they first had to get a winning result here but also given the competition with Tullamore , points on the board at the final whistle could prove vital, a win and points difference of +35 would put Mary’s back on top of division 8.
As these squads are now familiar with each other the coaching team delivered a focused training session to deal with the job at hand along with the input from the leaders in the pack and backline. The numbers at training have been great during the year and make all the difference for proper game preparation, being able to run full back lines and set piece preparation for the pack all due to the effort of lads and coaching team in the background keeping the focus one game day at a time.
Like most visits to this ground there was a bitter and swirling wind , another element which would have to be managed effectively in the game. The cold air was heavy on the breathing and the fitness of our squad was going to be a big factor here as in other games. Mary’s came out focused after some final words from gibbo and Dave emphasising the job at hand knowing that everyone wants a scalp of teams at the top. Mary’s started strongly and piled the pressure on Salmo through some fierce competition at the ruck and fast ball out the back , marshalled well by quinny, Dara and Thady. Salmo were finding it hard to deal with the pace and intensity Mary’s were bringing to the game and the first score came within 5 minutes. After a kick over the top by Thady into the space in the Salmo defence , a big chase was put on by Jayden resulting in Salmo carrying the ball over their line. Mary’s picked and carried from the resulting scrum moving closer to the sticks for Cian Carolan to maul over the line and get the first score. Dara converted.
7-0 Mary’s with only 5 minutes in the clock
After the first score and now having a good luck at the team there was an opportunity to attack the space in behind the Salmo defensive line while under pressure. Mary’s were immediately back on the attack from the restart and after some clean phases with clean ball presentation Mary’s build back up the field and were soon within the Salmo 22, quinny released the ball to Dara, Thady and eventually Matty got away with enough space to get over in the corner and yet again used his head to give Dara the best opportunity to add the extras, which he did , another important 7 points.
14-0 Mary’s 15mins gone
It was at this stage that Salmo started to grow into the game reverting to what we know them for which was putting everything through their pack , picking and carrying slowly up the field but all the the time making yards and edging closer to the Mary’s line. Mary’s defended well but Salmo eventually got over to get for their first score. A big chase was put on the con keeping their score to only 5.
It was a good 15 mins or so until the next score after some good possession from Salmo. This phase of the game was where decision making at the ruck and good defensive organisation was important to slow down any yards Salmo were getting in the game. Tackling by John luc carvill , Matty Gallagher, Stapo and max kept the attacks from breaking through. Our ever reliable front rowers Cian Carolan , gibbo and Marius put in big shifts here stepping up against a big opposing front row. Cian also put in huge carries picking up huge yards at vital times in the game to keep momentum, a great all round performance earning him the man of the match award. Our scrum performed well against another big pack with some big game experience and lineout on the night quiet good given the windy conditions. Our jumpers performed well and the subs off the bench fitted in nicely with Gary , Aaron , Niall and jack all getting game time, putting in carries and performances at set piece. The next score was to come from Mary’s and with 30 mins on the clock John luc carvill added his first try of the game.
19-5 Mary’s
It was soon after this that we unfortunately lost captain gibbo to an ankle injury jury and we wish him a speedy recovery. His contribution to this squad is immense and he’ll be sorely missed. On came Gary who wasted no time in introducing himself to the Salmo front row who at this stage were getting loose on their discipline. The next score came again for Mary’s.
24-5 Marys
Marys were now playing the game their way and controlling the ball in all areas of the park, another score came before the half bringing the points total to 29.
Due to other game day duties a full game commentary cannot be provided and to summarise the game stats are as follows –
Cian o brien x1
Matty coughlan x 2
John luc carvill x2
Thady mc keever x1
Jack delaney x 1
Max grace x1

Dara lynch con x 4

A huge performance on the night sending out a massive statement to the rest of the
league. Mary’s back on top of division 8 but only by points difference. Big game performances on the night from both cians, Dan mc Gill who continues to improve and our subs bench with Reno and Ryan covering the back field well and getting in some fine carries. Also jack Delaney who put in another fine performance attacking at pace from the backfield. A massive thank you again to all that made the effort to support on the sideline on this bitter cold night and we hope to see you all there as we look toward our next game. Focus now shifts to Emerald Warriors who we play on Saturday next at 3pm in high school.